Feb 13, 2009 VN Vietnam

You will not find much about it in the Lonely Planet but Thanh Hóa, Vietnam, is where I will be spending the next few months as a Kiva Fellow.  Its dirt roads, paper-based systems and road-side street kitchens are a far cry from the corporate culture that I am familiar with, but I am excited to see what the next few months will hold.

Thanh Hóa is the fourth largest (by area) and second poorest province in Vietnam, with over 30% of the households considered poor. Kiva’s field partner here, the Fund for Thanh...

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Feb 12, 2009 KH Cambodia

After months of preparations and planning I am finally on my way. As I write this the map on the TV screen tells me I am currently over Pueblo, Colorado on the first leg of a three part trip from New York, USA to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I will be in Phnom Penh for five months as a Kiva Fellow and will be working with Kiva’s partner agency HKL.

While I am very excited to listen and learn from both the staff members at my host MFI, HKL and the borrowers they serve I have a certain amount of trepidation concerning the affect the global recession will have on the local economy....

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Feb 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

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It’s all Greek to me. But wait, I’m in Latin America.

I don’t know why the Greek alphabet comes to mind on my first night in Nicaragua. Perhaps its ambiguity is the result of hours upon hours of contemplation and preparation leading up to this fateful journey. Or better yet, maybe it’s my subconscious reminding me that I will soon be conversing entirely in a foreign language. To be sure, these Greek letters stand as literary symbols of...

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Feb 12, 2009 GT Guatemala

Well, what the guidebooks say is true: Guatemala City is no walk in the park. Yet, the largest city in Central America certainly has much to offer and I look forward to sharing my experiences over the next few months with you.

I hope you enjoy the video below that I created to introduce you to FAPE – the microfinance foundation I’ll be working with here in Guatemala City. A previous Kiva Fellow (Megan Montgomery) and the Kiva staff have built a strong partnership with FAPE and I’ve been received with open arms and a lot of food.

Here are a few facts about...

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Feb 11, 2009 PH Philippines

Meet Paglaum Multipurpose Cooperative (PMPC), Kiva’s new partner in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, Philippines.   

 

PMPC Board of Directors & Evie, Kiva Fellow

As a co-op, its clients are members.  They contribute savings, take loans, and earn profits as the institution increases its reach and profitability.  Since 1982 PMPC has been working in a whole range activities, including microcredit; microinsurance; off-grid solar power; rice harvesting services...

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Feb 11, 2009 PH Philippines

Meet Paglaum Multipurpose Cooperative (PMPC), Kiva’s new partner in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, Philippines.   

 

PMPC Board of Directors & Evie, Kiva Fellow

As a co-op, its clients are members.  They contribute savings, take loans, and earn profits as the institution increases its reach and profitability.  Since 1982 PMPC has been working in a whole range activities, including microcredit; microinsurance; off-grid solar power; rice harvesting services...

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Feb 11, 2009 HN Honduras

Yesterday all the loan officers and agency coordinators from all over Honduras gathered in the small conference room in Prisma’s main office summarize, discuss and clarify the way Kiva would be implemented in the coming year. This was the final day and our final hurrah. I was so honored that they considered my assistance and their partnership with Kiva worth the administrative cost of bringing everyone together for a day- effectively halting all normal activity. The loan officers from San Lorenzo and Choluteca were up at 3 in the morning to catch the bus to the capital and surely didn’t...

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Feb 11, 2009 HN Honduras

Yesterday all the loan officers and agency coordinators from all over Honduras gathered in the small conference room in Prisma’s main office summarize, discuss and clarify the way Kiva would be implemented in the coming year. This was the final day and our final hurrah. I was so honored that they considered my assistance and their partnership with Kiva worth the administrative cost of bringing everyone together for a day- effectively halting all normal activity. The loan officers from San Lorenzo and Choluteca were up at 3 in the morning to catch the bus to the capital and surely didn’t...

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Feb 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

So I’ve spent the last three months in San Francisco, anticipating my Kiva adventure in Nicaragua and familiarizing myself with the various players in the surprisingly small microfinance network. Now, I’m just four short days away from embarking.

Excited? Yes. Nervous? Definitely. Ready? Well, I don’t think it really matters at this point. The best way to learn, it can be said, is to throw yourself right into it.

Speaking of getting ready, I had a really great idea (or so it seemed at the time) on how to assemble an ideal wardrobe for my work in Nicaragua. T-shirts. I...

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Feb 10, 2009 SV El Salvador

Kiva is a “sexy”, high-tech cog in the economic development machine, conceived in where else but the dot-com capital of the world: Silcon Valley, California, USA, North America. At the very least I’m jealous at how Kiva seems to be a citizen of both the new “read the New York Times on your laptop in starbucks” and the traditional “Financial calculator at US AID” development worlds. Also, as a product of the AOL instant messenger generation, I would be the first to admit that I am incredibly energized by the emergence of social business, high-tech hybrids. Slick web pages, the same nifty...

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